Diana married to Paul, rich, with a sister Barbara and 2 children away at boarding school, seems like any simple ordinary housewife but when you look deeper, her character is much more than simple. At the beginning of the play we see the indirect and kind hearted side of her character when she tries to get Evelyn to admit she was having an affair with Paul. She doesn’t ask the question directly or harshly, instead edges her way into the question slowly, and indirectly going off the topic at numerous times.
When she finally asks Paul to confess his affair, rather then in a harsh and hurtful way she says it in very subtle which works just as well. She says ” and now you’re making up for it aren’t you dearest? , With your other little”. She’s kind hearted and doesn’t want to hurt anyone but the situation causes her to swear at Evelyn. She never intends to hurt anyone but is rewarded for this with deceit and unfaithfulness from her husband Paul. The scene where Diana pours cream on Paul’s head not only shows us how much she despises Paul but also her way of communicating her feelings. She does not scream or curse him but instead gets her feeling across in a calm and collected way that shows us how utterly upset she is.
She and Paul have a very nervous relationship as we see at the beginning where she and Paul have a fight and it leaves Diana in tears. She is a very sensitive woman and all her friends think so as well. when Diana runs out sobbing into the kitchen after looking at Colin and carols pictures, Marge says that Diana is very sensitive and Colin says that Diana ” flings herself into whatever she does, heart and soul”. Diana also is also very empathetic and feels every ones pain.
However she does not handle her emotions or awkward situations well. She keeps everything inside her until it all comes out in violent outbursts. Near the end of the play Diana talks about her desire to be in the mounted police and reveals her thoughts and frustrations about her married life. She bursts into hysterical cries and loses control of herself. Another time is when she confronts Paul and accuses Evelyn, she runs out tense and sobbing, leaving everyone else to handle colins’ arrival. Furthermore she is a very closed person, who doesn’t like to talk about her feelings and comes back into the room calm and collected as if nothing had happened. She makes excuses for her absence and feelings.
Diana is also kind, generous, sincere and concerned. We can deduce this from her idea of inviting Colin for a tea party. She is very generous and prepares a wonderful tea and sandwiches. She is also a sincere and faithful and concerned friend. She is genuinely concerned about Colins welfare after his incident and is very kind to him. She is also the only person who respects old friendships and remembers Colin and helps him when he needs it. Paul and john, even though they were one of his best friends act like they don’t care or even remember him. Marge also provides us with the information that Diana is a loyal and trusting friend. For example when Marge shows Diana her new shoes Diana comments positively on them no matter what she thought. She also stands up for Marge when Paul berates Gordon, showing her loyalty. Example – Marge: he’s not too good I’m afraid
Paul: not again
Diana; what do you mean not again
Paul: he’s always sick. Hasn’t been to work for 2 years, has he?
Diana: he’s exaggerating….
Diana is a complex character and has a few contrasts to her character. Example- she is always kind hearted and never harsh with no intentions of hurting anyone however she insults Evelyn and lashes out at her violently. From all these incidents I construe that Diana is a kind and sincere person however this situation forces her to behave in this way and it throws light upon some of her negative qualities, like not being able to handle awkward situations and venting her feelings in an unhealthy way.